From left: Corey Barksdale and Greg Walkup next to new graffiti media center mural. (click for larger version)
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Over Spring Break, Kelly Mill Elementary's media center got a spark of color — with graffiti.
The school, which opened its doors last August, got its walls painted by Atlanta-based artist Corey Barksdale.
Greg Walkup, educational technology specialist, said he wanted to create a space where students collaborate and where relevant and authentic learning can take place.
"What intrigues me about graffiti art is that it's different and unique," said Walkup, "but also a lot of time has a negative connotation associated with it and in my opinion isn't appreciated for the true art form that it is."
Barksdale spent 20 hours covering the walls of the media center with renderings that will help bring the media center to life.
"The mural in the media center is unexpected," Principal Ron McAllister said. "It's not a 'typical' mural you would expect to see in an elementary school, but it captures the mission of Kelly Mill to invite children and adults to dream beyond the traditional walls of a school building."
Walkup said everyone has their own interpretation of the artwork. Walkup said his favorite interpretation from Corey was the family and clock in the mural.
This portion of the mural represents time and family as the most important things in life.
"Because you only have a certain amount of time on Earth and we should spend it with the important things in life, like our family," Walkup said. "From Corey's perspective, the astronauts represent going beyond planet Earth.
"They have no limits and Kelly Mill students, staff, and community have no limits on what we can accomplish here."